Google recently announced that they will stop their longtime practice of scanning email content to create targeted ads. This strategy was implemented with Gmail from the start, though it only pertained to personal Gmail accounts, not corporate ones. Google hopes that changing their methods will end the confusion and entice more companies to use the G Suite as opposed to other cloud services.
Though scanning content, browser history and web searches is not a new practice, corporations have been skeptical of Google violating private policy. This is true even though Google does not scan email content in business accounts.
Getting those big names
Google faced an uphill battle when it came to signing on corporations to use their cloud services versus other more popular ones offered by Microsoft and Amazon.
The main reason was distrust.
Google openly stated their scanning services applied to Gmail accounts, though they forgot to stress it was individual accounts. This is the primary reason behind the announcement, so that Google can gain the trust of companies and turn them on to their services.
The reality of ads
Though individual users could opt out of email scanning, seeing a relevant ad within your email wasn’t so much of a nuisance, as it was common practice. With targeted ads showing up on Instagram feeds, side banners of websites and pop-ups, many of us have gotten used to seeing and ignoring them. Many people didn’t think twice when hearing that Google scans email content since they still can use search histories and Youtube and Chrome activity for advertising data.
Unfortunately, the announcement does not mean an end to ads on Gmail. Instead, Google will continue using their other methods to create targeted ads to show up in your inbox. This could be more than simply scanning online content.
If you’ve ever had a conversation and then seen an ad that pertains to what you were saying show up on a website later, you should realize that this is not just a coincidence.
Mics are always on, and Google can use their phones and home assistant devices to create even more specific ads based on what you talk about.